Details Sparse in Recent Sexual Assault

Investigations into the alleged sexual assault at The University of Tampa are still in their preliminary stages as both UT officials and authorities at the Tampa Police Department (TPD) have yet to complete their preliminary investigations.

Details into the alleged Sept. 1 incident remained unclear up to press time as no new information surfaced.

UT’s Dean of Students Bob Ruday told The Minaret that, as of now, the University will not release any further information regarding the incident.

“I think we need to go with what’s in the global message right now because we are still conducting investigations,” Ruday said.

The campus-wide global message the dean referred to was sent out shortly after the incident and informed UT faculty, staff and students that: “An alleged sexual assault in a residence hall was reported to the Tampa Police Department by a female student on Saturday, September 1. The alleged incident involved two UT students and additional information will be provided as accurate facts become known.”

While UT administration would not comment any further, officials at the TPD did confirm that both the victim and the alleged perpetrator were UT students. TPD officials remained tightlipped regarding other details.

But in the wake of the first incident of its kind for the semester, the University’s security measures have been questioned, especially after UT administration boasted of major security upgrades over the summer.

“The response was standard from last semester,” Ruday said. “We followed the same policies.”

The University’s Director of Public Information, Eric Cardenas, insisted that up to this point; the University has followed the standard procedure in handling incidents of this nature.

“Every situation is different and provides different challenges,” Cardenas said. “And people got together quickly and did what needed to be done.

“It seemed to me that the response was timely, efficient and informative.”

The alleged January 17 on-campus sexual assault report coupled with the April 16 Virginia Tech massacre prompted UT officials to revamp their safety and security measures. This resulted in 19 new policies being instituted.

In the meantime, Ruday and Cardenas said they are gathering their own information into this most recent incident but will wait for more details from the TPD before making any other official reports.

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